November 6, 2013

Fabulous French Cooking with Françoise

"Cooking is always sharing. " - Françoise Meunier

Now that the holiday season has arrived, it's time to spend special evenings together with family and friends.   Everyone looks forward to sharing these memorable moments highlighted by delicious food.  But if you're the one preparing the special meals, there might be a bit of stress along with the anticipation of the holiday gatherings. 
Françoise Meunier
Françoise leading a Market Walk 

This holiday season take one of WICE’s Cooking Courses with Françoise Meunier and let her melt away your stress as she demystifies French cooking.   French cooking may be different from the kind of cooking that you're used to, but Françoise teaches us that different does not have to mean difficult.   The theme of each of her courses is French Family Cooking where you learn to prepare a main dish and dessert, using recipes that are easy to prepare, but taste and look fantastic.  

Françoise Meunier
Market Walk

But why bother with cooking classes when recipes and instructional videos are readily available online?    

Well, Françoise's cooking classes are more than just how to prepare a dish.   With equal parts educational and delicious, Françoise's students learn how the ingredients work together to create mouth-watering flavors, while also learning about French food culture and customs. Françoise's extensive knowledge of cooking fills her conversations with golden gems of cooking tips.  After just a few minutes of listening to Françoise, you'll realize just how two dimensional those cookbooks and online recipes are, as your ears perk up eagerly awaiting her next fascinating tidbit of cooking information. 

Going beyond the steps of a recipe, Françoise explains things like how sometimes no matter how perfectly you execute a recipe, the dish will not come out right if you have used inferior quality ingredients and incorrect cooking tools.   Follow the directions as carefully as you want, but your gratin is not going to come out looking like a true gratin with supermarket-bought emmental rapé, baked in a glass dish.
Françoise Meunier
Françoise teaching her cooking class
  Here are just a few examples of ‘Françoise’s gems’ that can help you make the difference between a good try and a fabulous meal cooked and served to perfection:

·         Meat quality difference between the “boucher” and supermarkets like Monoprix, ie what is a “vache de réforme”?
·         Serving soup like a pro, without dripping

·         How to slice bread without smashing it

Françoise Meunier
Making Dessert

Françoise Meunier
Cooking Instructor -  Françoise Meunier

As one of WICE's best kept secrets, Françoise Meunier shares with her students the knowledge that she's gained from over 40 years of experience.  With her degree from the École Hôtelière de Toulouse, Françoise has worked for several luxury hotel chains throughout Europe. After that, she worked for 16 years as human resource manager in two French companies, Sanofi and Moulinex. When she turned 50 she felt like doing something on her own and created her private cooking school in Paris.  She had students from all over the world including French students. She taught cooking courses as motivational team building events for various companies, trained sales and marketing teams on using various cooking products and tools, wrote over 500 recipes for cookbooks, websites and magazines, and held many other cooking related positions. Some of the companies Françoise has worked for include: Vuitton, Renault, Nestlé, Krups, Le Creuset, Tefal and Moulinex.

Françoise Meunier
Fish at the Market Walk

In addition to teaching WICE’s Cooking Courses, Françoise leads all of WICE’s Market Walks where you learn what is in season, what to buy, how to buy, and what to do with it.   Since Françoise never buys frozen or canned food, she shops at outdoor markets all year long. With this kind of shopping experience, Françoise’s students will learn everything about each market, including its history and the architecture of its location.  Some of WICE’s previous market walks with Françoise have included: rue Montorgueil, rue Mouffetard, rue du Faubourg Saint Denis and the African market rue Dejean.  

Françoise Meunier

For those cheese-lovers out there, join Françoise on December 4th as she visits a local “Fromagerie”.  In this upcoming Discover French Cheeses course, the cheese specialist/shop owner and Françoise will take away the intimidation of walking into a cheese shop and being confronted with the hundreds of varieties by going behind the scenes to explain all about French cheeses. Participants will even be treated to a tasting of ten different cheeses. 

Whether you’re an experienced cook who wants to learn something new or a cooking beginner, come and try one of Francoise’s courses and see for yourself why her students keep coming back for more. It’s so fascinating to learn everything that Françoise has to share that you’ll be bursting at the seams to put it into practice and cook for your own friends and loved ones.

And don’t forget the added bonus of making new friends and sharing the meal with your classmates at the end of the course!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
9:30am to 11:30am

****Be sure to check out the upcoming French Christmas Cookies course on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 and all of WICE's Cooking Courses

Post by Veronica Kugler
Photos by Mary O'Leary